How to Make Money Printing T-Shirts

15 | 12 | 2018
How to Make Money Printing T-Shirts

by Jamie Lisse

Printing t-shirts can be a lucrative business.

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  • 1Buy a T-Shirt Printing Machine
  • 2Mass Market Your Own T-Shirt Designs
  • 3Start Your Own T-Shirt Business With Low Startup Costs
  • 4What Do I Need to Start a T-Shirt Business?

If you are printing your own T-shirts, you can attempt to make money from your endeavors. Since popular T-shirt sites like Zazzle and Cafe Press do the printing for you, you cannot utilize these outlets to sell your own printed T-shirts. While this may seem like a disadvantage, it actually has its advantages since you can make more of a profit when printing your own shirts versus selling through an outlet that does the printing for you. With a little hard work, you can make money printing T-shirts on your own.


Create your own designs instead of paying someone else to create them. This prevents you from having to pay for designs. You can freehand your designs on paper or another medium, or you can create them in design software, such as Photoshop, Fireworks or GIMP.


Set a price for your T-shirts by determining your cost. If you are paying someone to screen print them, calculate the per-shirt printing cost by dividing the total you paid by the number of shirts printed. If you printed the shirts on your own, you can add up your materials cost to see how much you have spent printing the shirts. Do not forget to include the cost of the shirts. Add all these figures up to get the total cost per shirt. Once you have this number, you can determine how much to add to that number so that you can make the amount you want on each shirt. For example, if your cost is $6 and you want to make $10 per shirt, you need to price each shirt at $16.


Create a website for your shirts, if you are comfortable doing so, or hire a web designer to create the site for you. To find a web designer, you can use a site like, visit a local technical college, or ask around for references from your friends and neighbors. You may be creating the shirts around a website that you already have, such as a games website or an artwork website. If this is the case, you may just want to include a single page on that site for your new T-shirts. You should have a way for people to pay for your shirts online, which can be done via merchant account, PayPal or Google Checkout.


Promote your T-shirts online through free social media methods such as Facebook and Twitter. You vcan pay for ads through Facebook Ads and Google AdWords. Prices vary. If you can afford to give away free products, you can contact the owners of blogs or websites that are relevant to your T-shirts and offer to send free shirts for giveaways. This will get your brand and your designs out in the market.


Secure a booth at local festivals, outdoor markets, fairs and similar events that relate to your T-shirt designs. Booth prices vary. Obtaining a booth allows you to sell directly to consumers. You can look in the local newspaper for upcoming events or use the website to search for events. Once you find an event that you want to attend, you must contact the event planners to secure a booth.


Visit local clothing stores and boutique shops in your area to ask if they will stock your T-shirts. Be prepared to leave the shirts at the store on a consignment basis, which means you only get paid if the shirts sell. In this type of arrangement, you generally check back with the store on a regular basis to see how the merchandise is moving. This is a good way for a store to try out new merchandise without financially committing. You will need to negotiate the percentage the retailer receives from the sale. This can vary from 25 to 50 percent.

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